SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP WINNERS
Linlithgow started their quest for glory with a bye in the first round and had already been installed as 10/1 second favourites for the tournament before slamming Aberdeen Lads Club 7-0 with goals from Herd (2), Whyte, Carrigan, Pow, Allison and Dick.
Round 3 saw the lads drawn away to North Super League champions Culter. By this stage Linlithgow were building a head of steam to their season but just as the team was starting to look forward to the Culter game, they lost the services of their inspirational captain,
Danny Smith as a result of a horrific leg break at Camelon. Supporters endured a nervy opening to the game at Culter until Carrigan slotted away a spot kick before half time. The second half belonged to the Rose and goals from McArthur, Carrigan again and Hogg gave the visitors a comfortable victory.
The 4th round saw the Rose paired with a side from the North East for a 3rd successive round and the supporters started looking out their thermals in preparation for a trip to Aberdeen East End in mid January. As the team reached Christmas their only defeat had been a 4-1 shock at the hands of local rivals Bo’ness. As expected, Linlithgow despatched their lower league opponents with a minimum of fuss. Goals from McArthur and Denham had them 2 in front at half time before Herd and Tyrell doubled the Rose tally in the second.
Rose appeared to be progressing serenely through the competition but that came to an abrupt halt when the 5th round draw pitched them away from home to either the tournament favourites, Auchinleck Talbot or their Super League rivals Lochee United. To the surprise of many, Lochee dispatched Talbot after a replay to send the Rose over the Forth Bridge yet again. A huge Rose support gathered in Dundee for the last 16 tie and they were not disappointed as their favourites delivered a performance full of courage and skill as they emerged with a 3-1 victory. The fans were jubilant – some went 30 yards down the Lochee terracing without using their feet such was the level of their jubilance!! The Rose defence were magnificent – with Greg Denham outstanding. They created the foundation for the victory which was secured with goals from Herd, Denham and McSween.
Following the victory over Lochee, the Rose joined Arthurlie at the head of the betting for the Scottish Cup. However, if the early stages
of the cup run had been characterised by straightforward ties, the latter stages were anything but. Having seen off Lochee, Linlithgow were rewarded with a home quarter final tie against West Super League giants Pollok.
Clearly the tie of the round, a huge crowd turned up for this one. In the event, the size of the prize and a strong wind ensured that it was a tense affair. Carrigan again demonstrated his class with a superbly taken strike to send the Rose in a goal to the good at half time. Even with the wind at their backs, the anticipated Pollok fightback never really materialised as Linlithgow held out comfortably to secure a semi final place.
With a league and cup double on the agenda, there was no let up for the players or supporters. The semi final saw the Rose drawn against Arthurlie at Love Street – as near a home tie for the Barrhead team as you could get at this stage of the competition.
This Rose team was starting to show a key attribute for any side intent on winning big prizes, an ability to raise their game to a different level under pressure. And that is just what they did in the semi final. They tore into Arthurlie on a fiery pitch, played some fantastic football and scored top class goals. A double from Stuart McArthur and great strikes from Carrots and Andy Dick had the Rose fans in raptures as they looked forward to a Scottish Cup final against Kelty Hearts – the surprise package of the tournament.
The SJFA wisely secured East End Park Dunfermline for the final in the hope of securing a bumper crowd. Linlithgow went into the game as massive favourites as far as the bookies were concerned but everyone on both sides of the Forth knew that would count for
nothing on the day. On a beautiful June day, kick off was delayed to allow a magnificent crowd of 9300 in to witness the most dramatic
of cup final finishes. Rose started the better in a nervy first half with Carrigan drawing a good save from Fleming before McArthur fired over from a promising position. As the second half wore on, injuries saw early departures for Herd and McDermott before Greg Denham also had to call it a day with a broken nose. Denham’s departure 11 minutes from time saw Mark Whyte enter the fray in his final season with the club.
With just 8 minutes left, the Rose faithful went wild as Carrigan seized on a poor clearance to drill home the opening goal. Linlithgow were unable to hold their lead though and when Oliver could only parry Scott Lawrie’s fierce drive, Ian Mauchline was on hand to square the tie. Extra time had almost come and gone when Linlithgow secured one final chance to pressure the Kelty defence. Ian McSween won a free kick on the touchline. Carrigan delivered a superb cross which was met by a perfectly timed run from Mark Whyte who sent a bullet of a header past the stranded Fleming in the Kelty goal to win the cup for the Rose.
Bedlam ensued on and off the pitch as the Rose lifted the Scottish Junior Cup for the third time when Ian Gallacher and Danny Smith received the cup from a delighted First Minister.
Heroes and legends secured their place in the club’s history. Mark Whyte signed off a fantastic Rose career doing what he did best – scoring a vital goal. Brian Carrigan showed that he was on a different level from anyone else in junior football. And of course Jim Sinnet masterminded his second Scottish Junior Cup victory to sit alongside the league championship that had already been secured. And the supporters played their part too. They backed the club as they always do – in good numbers and even better voice. Back in Linlithgow there was a wee trip through the town, a singsongat The Cross and then a helluva party!!
To view all the images from 2007 click HERE